Down on the Street...in Tokyo: The Chevy MW Is The Opel Agila

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

As we continue to clean out our CompactFlash cards, we've found another piece of metal from the Tokyo streets. Here's the perfect example of a city car produced by the General that they just don't build or sell over in this here part of the globe. This five-door 'merican Revolution is the Chevy MW, and it's a re-badged Vauxhall Agila which is a re-badged Opel Agila which in turn is a re-badged Suzuki Wagon R. As a Suzuki, the MW was first built in Japan, but now in all forms is built at GM's Gliwice, Poland plant. Speaking of the Opelized version, did we mention the second-generation 2008 Opel Agila was unveiled in Frankfurt earlier this year? Oh wait, we've found some shots of the reveal of that one on our many CF cards as well. The newest model of the Agila will be powered by either one of two gas engines — a three cylinder 1.0-liter 65 HP model and a four cylinder 1.2-liter engine rated at 86 HP — and a diesel 1.3-liter four cylinder engine rated at 75 HP. Will the new 2008 Agila have as many re-branded options as the earlier models? You betcha. The General's already planning for the new Agila to be sold by Suzuki as the Splash. Ah, the sweet smell of platform prostitution and brand whoring. Don't you just love the global automotive industry?

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DISCUSSION

"Ah, the sweet smell of platform prostitution and brand whoring. Don't you just love the global automotive industry?"

Answer "yes" only if:

* You want the Pontiac G8 to be sold in the USA.

* You think GM needs a small hatchback and you think the Astra's the best thing they've got.

* You wish Dodge could keep selling the Sprinter here now that the Germans made them take a long walk off a short dock.

* You have any hope of seeing that Zeta-platform Chinese Buick here in the US.

Look, the problem is not building one car and selling it under a bunch of different names in a bunch of different places. The problem is building the same damn car with the same damn options (but a different nose clip!) and selling it with five different (but equally forgettable!) model names at five dealers on the same damn AutoMotorPlexMilePark in the same damn suburb. I'm looking right at you, Pontiac Torrent.

To summarize: rebadged cars built in other parts of the world and sent here for our automotive delectation: GOOD. Cadillac Cimarron: BAD.